The Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and two other organizations – the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and the Ghana News Agency (GNA) have united their effort to help bring down corruption in the society.
This is being done through joint anti-corruption regional road campaign, to educate and aid everybody to have the courage report any corrupt acts.
Mr. Richard Quayson, Deputy Commissioner of CHRAJ, said the goal was to draw public attention to the “many good hospitals, good schools, roads, supply of potable water and electricity” – to raise the quality of life, “if we were getting real value for money”.
“We also seek to create graphic image of how transformed Ghana could be if corruption, waste, indiscipline and lawlessness are reduced considerably.”
Ghana is estimated to be losing in excess of US$3 billion, every year, through corruption – about 300 per cent more than all development aid it has been receiving in a year.
Mr. Quayson said “imagine what 15 per cent of the nation’s budget could do in the lives of the people – the unemployed and the elderly” struggling to survive on meagre pensions after years of service to the nation.
“Imagine what US$3billion annually could do if it is properly invested in development, how it could transform our hospitals and health sector, our schools and education system, our roads, transport and communication sectors.”
He said the campaign would enable the people to appreciate the impact of corruption – the harm this was causing to the nation.
The 420-bed capacity Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital) cost US$250 million and it is therefore reasonable to assume that 12 more such regional hospitals could be built, in a year, from the huge amounts of money lost through corruption.
Mr Quayson made reference to the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange constructed at a cost of €74 million or US$86.7 million and said “if we collectively block the corruption channels, Ghana could build 34 interchanges across the country without a loan or aid.”
“This could tremendously improve road traffic, boost trade, employment and income, as well as government revenues.”
He said value for money analysis showed that public expenditures were often exaggerated.
“How come African Development Bank (AfDB) could construct a 150-bed hospital in Accra for less than US$3 million, and yet cost the state more than US$25 million to construct a 60-bed district hospital?” he queried.
He said it was to help change things that the Commission had joined forces with the GII and the GNA to unite and capture the imagination of the nations.
Mr. Kwaku Osei Bonsu, the Acting General Manager of GNA, said the collaboration with the anti-corruption institutions formed part of the agency’s multi-dimensional news development approach.
The national wire service should find new ways of doing things to remain relevant and survive the increased media competition.